The Latin etymology for this word combines com (meaning with or together) + pati (meaning to suffer). The word compassion suggests that it is about suffering that is shared. Compassion implies community in this notion of being with, rather than apart.
Hebrew words related to compassion are rakham and rekham. Rakham means to love, to have compassion for. Rekham means womb.
I once heard the idea that compassion means dwelling together in many wombs. What would that be like?
A womb is a sanctuary, a nest, a place for nurturing and growth, where one is nourished and held securely. A womb is the home of a newly developing human being. To find oneself in the womb is most often the result of a precious act of love which culminates in the birth of a child. A mother’s love begins in the womb and continues throughout the life of her child. Imagine if we had many wombs to return to to find the loving comfort and care we experienced as we dwelled within that first womb that bore every one of us.
If we could see compassion as the act of creating sanctuary that supports life with love and nurturing energy, how might we apply it to ourselves, to our relationships with one another, and even beyond that, to all living beings and the energies that support life itself?
My intention is to learn how to be compassionate, to live with compassion, to become that sanctuary of compassion for all living beings. I would like this blog to reflect my journey in that learning.